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  • ANA Holdings Inc., the Japanese parent company of All Nippon Airways, is investing $95 million for a 9.5-percent stake in PAL Holdings Inc., the holding company of Philippine Airlines.

    The two companies said in a joint statement ANA HD would acquire the shares from Trustmark Holdings Corp., which is owned by the family of billionaire Lucio Tan and is the largest shareholder of PAL Holdings.

    “This purchase underscores ANA HD’s belief in the dynamism of the Asian region and the great potential of the Philippines’ multi-awarded flag carrier and its confidence that the Philippine air travel market will continue to serve as an economic leader for the Asean region,” the Japanese company said.

    It said the investment would herald “the dawn of a new era of growth for PAL, which has embarked on a full-scale expansion program that has seen its fleet and network grow to almost 100 aircraft and 80 destinations in four continents.”

    PAL was recently recognized as the World’s Most Improved Airline for 2019.

    ANA Group said that in line with the mid-term corporate strategy for the period 2018-2022, it would expand its international group network, which is considered its main growth pillar and strengthen its partnerships with foreign airlines to provide further convenience to its passengers.

    PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the company was honored and excited that a premier airline group such as ANA HD decided to purchase shares in PAL Holdings.

    “The Philippines and Japan have a long-standing relationship with complementary strengths. This week, in fact, we commemorate the 70th year of Philippine Airlines’ service to Japan, dating back to the launch of our first Manila-Tokyo flight on January 26, 1949. It is a great privilege to celebrate this historic occasion by strengthening our ties with ANA, as we aim to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial with an eye to a more progressive future,” Bautista said.

    ANA Holdings president and chief executive Shinya Katanozaka said: “Asia is a key growth market and we believe Philippine Airlines is in an excellent operational position to capitalize on both the strong uptick in air traffic growth as well as the vibrant, expanding Philippine economy.”

    “We look forward to expanding our business relationship with Philippine Airlines so we can continue to serve our passengers even better,” he said.

    Philippine Airlines currently operates 84 flights weekly on nine routes to Japan while ANA operates 14 flights weekly on two routes to the Philippines.

    The two carriers have codeshare operations on Japan-Philippine routes and domestic routes within Japan and the Philippines, linking a total of 16 Japanese and 11 Philippine destinations.

    Completion of the investment is subject to certain closing conditions. (D. Amojelar, MS)

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